Con artists are taking advantage of the nation's high unemployment rate by cashing in on "work from home job" scams. In this rip off alert, there are "some" legitimate options, but it's important to on guard.
Make thousands of dollars a week working at home simply by mailing postcards - sounds like a good deal.
"Consumers were told they would earn $1 for each postcard they processed,” said U.S Postal Inspector Daniel Forrester. “All they had to do was place pre-addressed labels which promoted a mortgage assistance project and send it back to the company."
To start, fill out a form and pay an upfront fee. Then, applicants receive a "starter" package.
"Usually they are enticed in the package by what they are applying for - a promised wage - and a certain enrollment fee they are responsible for," Forrester said.
Postal inspectors got involved after hundreds of complaints from employees.
"They were never paid the wage promised," Forrester said. ”For the first time, they were told someone would have to actually buy the mortgage product to be paid."
Employees were out the upfront fee with no prospect of future money.
"Consumers should be aware of any work at home scheme that asks you to pay a fee upfront," Forrester said.
Inspectors advice is to use common sense.
"A company claiming to pay you thousands of dollars for a job that could cost pennies; Just apply logic," Forrester said.
Postal inspectors also strongly recommend doing research on a company before applying for a job. In this case, the con-artist running the scheme had been charged 5 separate times for engaging in the exact same fraud.